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Healthy Snickers Bars (Vegan)

snickersAuthor: Detoxinista.com

Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins

Serves: 6-12

A healthier version of the popular candy bar, made with all-natural ingredients!

Ingredients
For the nougat:
½ cup creamy almond butter
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon coconut flour
For the caramel filling:
12 soft Medjool dates, pitted (about ¾ cup packed)
⅓ cup water
scant ¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
¼ cup chopped peanuts, or other nuts/seeds of choice
For the dark chocolate coating:
1 cup dark chocolate chunks
1 teaspoon coconut oil

Instructions
To create the nougat layer, combine the almond butter, coconut flour and maple syrup in a medium bowl and mix well to combine. Press the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and use your hands to create a uniform rectangle shape that is about ½-inch thick. Place in the freezer to set.
To prepare the caramel filling, combine the pitted dates, salt, vanilla, and coconut oil, and and water in a high-speed blender, and blend until completely smooth and creamy. You may need to stop and scrape down the blender a couple of times to make sure the caramel is blended uniformly. Be sure to taste the caramel and adjust the flavor or texture, as necessary.
Remove the nougat layer from the freezer and spread half of the caramel filling evenly over the top, using a spatula to smooth.
Sprinkle the ¼ cup of chopped peanuts, or other nuts, over the top of the caramel layer, and use your hands to gently press the chopped nuts into the caramel filling. Place in the freezer to set for at least 30 minutes.
For the chocolate coating, combine the dark chocolate chunks and coconut oil in a heat-safe bowl and melt in the oven, or microwave, until completely smooth and melted.
Remove the candy bars from the freezer, and slice into 6 full-size bars. Slice these full-size bars in half, to create a “fun size” version, if you prefer.
Use a spoon to spread the melted dark chocolate over the tops and sides of each bar, then pick them up to coat the bottom, as well. Return the chocolate-coated bars to the parchment-lined baking sheet, and allow to set in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before serving. The longer the bars set in the freezer, the firmer they get!
Due to the nature of this recipe, these bars will melt quickly if left at room temperature. Serve directly from the freezer for best results!

Notes
This recipe makes more caramel filling than you will need to prepare six candy bars, because this is the smallest batch I could make in my blender to achieve a smooth, uniform filling. The leftover filling could be used for another batch of candy bars, or as a delicious dip for fresh apple slices!